Chrysler to Kill Hybrid SUVs

Although some carmakers decided to concentrate on hybrids to get out of the economic crisis, companies like Chrysler adopted a different strategy and decided to kill two hybrid SUVs only introduced a few months ago. What's interesting is that both hybrids are manufactured in Newark, Delaware, a Chrysler factory which was scheduled to close at the end of 2009, even before the two SUVs, Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango, reached mass-production.

However, the global economic crisis changed Chrsyler's plans so the American carmaker is somehow forced to close the Newark factory one year before the initial date. Obviously, one would expect to see the production of the two SUVs transferred to other plants, especially if taking into account the fact that they were only introduced to the general public in August. Well, according to Chrysler's officials, the car manufacturer does not intend to move the production to another plant.

"Keeping the plant open for the hybrid versions isn't a sound business decision,” Chrsyler spokesman Todd Goyer was quoted as saying by Autonews. “There are more hybrids coming,” he added, pointing to the hybrid version of Dodge Ram, initially scheduled for 2010.

The Newark-based factory currently employs about 1,000 workers, according to the aforementioned source, which means most of them will be fired once the plant gets closed. Chrysler decided to close the production plant in 2007, as part of the Recovery and Transformation Plan set by the parent company DaimlerChrysler.

Chrysler already announced a series of moves imposed by the financial crisis, with job cuts and lowered production in most North American plants. But even so, discontinuing two hybrid projects two months after the market release sounds like a desperate move, especially if taking in consideration the several thousands job cuts already started by the American company.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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